Dialogues of Wind and Bamboo, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, Sat 21 Jun
It was the all-you-can-eat buffet of line-ups. There were robots playing bamboo instruments, dancing in the sculpture garden, tai chi and the chance to creep in the undergrowth like David Bellamy in an pop meets classical music video. But then along came some the monsoons, washing the outdoor action down the pan.
The sections in the greenhouses were soothing and sensory tickling – Edinburgh art collective Found mixed folk-electronica with bird song and Kim Ho Ip added other-worldly yang chin to the nature trail soundtrack. Ziggy Campbell’s self-playing Chinese dulcimer – wired to robotic chimes and bony bamboo fingers – was musical genius. His latest audio-gadget art installation was invented with Dr Simon Kirby, his partner in Found Electronics. Oblivious to the stream of humans in cagoules, it sounded magical and serene from its hidey-hole in the plants. But the threat of trench foot basically wrote off the rest of the evening. Inventive, ambitious and full of beautiful noises, it’s a damn shame someone at the big mixing desk in the sky couldn’t turn the sound of hammering rain down a bit.